THE Australian High Commission Counsellor for Economic Andrew Scholoeffel says tourism is a really an important sector to the development of Solomon Islands.
Mr Scholoeffel made the statement during the recent launch of the Tourism Trail by the Strongem Bisnis together with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Tuesday.
He said the Australian High Commission sees the tourism sector as an important but critical industry to the future development of Solomon Islands.
“In a post logging environment, Solomon Islands really does not have that many sectors that really a long offer term sustainable and competitive opportunities in the globalize economies and of those that are potential sectors of growth and they are mining, agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
“So we really want to see sustainable economic growth so that’s where tourism comes into the picture,” he said
He said tourism provides rural opportunities, jobs and if statistic is true, one in ten people around the world are employed or benefited from the Tourism and that’s 65,000 people in the Solomon Islands context that will actually benefit.
Mr Scholoeffel said as the report stated, Solomon Islands is not only about diving, but also all about WW11 history, it’s also about the culture and arty crafts.
He said the new developed WW11 and Western province trails as stated in the report is very important framework to organise investments and tourism experience around.
He added the Australian Government is also committed to assist tourism in Solomon Islands by establishing other sectors like infrastructure which also related to tourism such the recent refurbishment of the Gizo market which cost AUD$3.5 million dollars.
“The new brand market will provide opportunity for people to bring their produce from around Gizo to market but it’s also where tourist can get what they want,” he said.
He said the Coral Sea Cable is also one of the sectors Australia is looking at that will really help in terms of internet access to various tourism sights in the country.
“Tourism and potential tourist needs access to information so having these reports will enable tourist to easily find tourism operators and where they would like to go,” he added.
Mr Scholoeffel said as the development of the trails will have the potential to increase the link of time that tourist will stay and range of activities that they take part in.
“And of course it will increase tourists’ time in country, increase their spending which will equals more revenue and more opportunities for local providers and more jobs,” he added.
By IAN M.KAUKUI